2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death…
Let us first advert to what may be called the physical state, and then to the moral state of the mind; and under each head let us endeavour to contrast the insufficiency of the light of nature with the sufficiency and fulness of the light of the gospel.
I. An argument for its immortality has been drawn from the consideration of what we should term the physics of the mind — that is, from the consideration of its properties, when it is regarded as having a separate or substantive being of its own. For example, it has been said that spirit is not matter, and therefore must be imperishable. We confess that we see not the force of this reasoning. We are not sure by nature of the premises; and neither do we apprehend how the conclusion flows from it. Now, in the recorded fact of our Saviour's resurrection, we see what many would call a more popular, but what we should deem a far more substantial and satisfactory, argument for the soul's immortality than any that is furnished by the speculation which we have now alluded to. To us the one appears as much superior to the other, as history is more solid than hypothesis, or as experience is of a texture more firm than imagination, or as the philosophy of our modern Bacon is of a surer and sounder character than the philosophy of the old schoolmen. Let it be remarked that the word which we render "abolished" signifies also "made of no effect." The latter interpretation of the word is certainly more applicable to our first or our temporal death. He has not abolished temporal death. It still reigns with unmitigated violence, and sweeps off its successive generations with as great sureness and rapidity as ever. This part of the sentence is not abolished, but is rendered ineffectual.
II. But another argument for the immortality of man has been drawn by philosophers from the moral state of his mind; and more especially from that progressive expansion which they affirm it to have undergone in respect of its virtues as well as of its powers. Still we fear that, in respect of this argument too, the flowery description of the moralists has no proof, and more particularly no experience to support it. Yes! we have heard them talk, and with eloquence too, of the good man and of his prospects; of his progress in life being a splendid career of virtue, and of his death being a gentle transition to another and a better world; of its being the goal where he reaps the honourable reward that is due to his accomplishments, or being little more than a step in his proud march to eternity. This is all very fine, but it is the fineness of poetry. Where is the evidence of its being any better than a deceitful imagination? Death gives the lie to all the speculations of all the moralists; but it only gives evidence and consistency to the statements of the gospel. The doctrines of the New Testament will bear to be confronted with the rough and vigorous lessons of experience. They attempt no ornament and no palliation. I cannot trust the physician who plays upon the surface of my disease, and throws over it the disguise of false colouring. I have more confidence to put in him who, like Christ the Physician of my soul, has looked the malady fairly in the face — has taken it up in all its extent, and in all its soreness — has resolved it into its original principles — has probed it to the very bottom, and has set himself forward to combat with the radical elements of the disease. This is what the Saviour has done with death. He has plucked it of its sting. He has taken a full survey of the corruption, and met it in every one quarter where its malignity operates. It was sin which constituted the virulence in the disease, and He hath extracted it. He hath expiated the sentence; and the believer, rejoicing in the assurance that all is clear with God, serves Him without fear in righteousness and in holiness all the days of his life.
(T. Chalmers, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: